A female eastern black rhino stands inside a crate, waiting to be transported to Kenya’s Tsavo East national park. Ten out of 11 black rhinos died in July 2018 in their new home in Tsavo East national park after being moved by the state wildlife service, prompting protests from conservation groups around the world. An independent inquiry found that negligence by conservation officers was to blame for the deaths. The report found the animals had succumbed to stress and poisoning from drinking salty water. Photo: Dai Kurokawa / EPA

By Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Andrew Heavens
26 July 2018

NAIROBI (Reuters) – The only rhino to survive a bungled relocation to a Kenyan wildlife park has been attacked by lions, tourism minister Najib Balala said on Thursday.

Ten out of 11 black rhinos being moved by the state wildlife service last month died in their new home in Tsavo East National Park, prompting protests from conservation groups around the world.

Balala said an independent inquiry had found that negligence by conservation officers was to blame for the deaths. The report found the animals had succumbed to stress and poisoning from drinking salty water, he added.

“Unfortunately, the eleventh rhino has been attacked by lions. Yesterday it was treated. So far we are monitoring this eleventh rhino. It’s a sad situation,” he said.

Six conservation officers have been suspended following the inquiry, he added.

“Even one rhino is a huge loss. So we are sad and we are disappointed in some of the officers who should have taken responsibility. They didn’t take their work seriously. They were casual in their job.”

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), whose employees handled the relocation, did not respond to calls for comment. [more]

Only rhino to survive Kenyan relocation is attacked by lions

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